Q. Is it normal to experience a few pimples after applying Tretinoin cream?

Answered by
Dr. Barve Vaibhav Saidas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 01, 2022

Hi doctor,

I was put on a low-dose course of Accutane, and I took it for about 13 months (20 mg). My dermatologist was always going to prescribe cream Tretinoin after the course to help address my scarring or pigmentation. My question is that she prescribed the cream to be used after I have zero spots after a whole box of pills. However, I had almost finished the box with no spots on my skin and decided to stop taking the medication. I waited a month and now am taking the Retin A cream. However, I am experiencing little spots (after around three weeks of every other day application). Is this normal, and would I experience some purging? Or did I make a mistake? But then, would this purging have happened anyway by finishing the rest of the pills? Kindly help.

Thank you.



Welcome to

Thanks for allowing me to treat your skin problem. Please attach good-quality photographs of lesions to make it easy to diagnose and treat the condition. What you are experiencing is normal. Pimples can come and go up to the age of 30 years. Everyone experiences pimples in their lives in small or large quantities.

It is natural and occurs due to hormonal changes in the body.

I suggest continuing Tretinoin cream and sunscreen.

Preventive measures:

1) Do not wash your face frequently, and do not wash your face with soap. Instead, use a suitable face wash that suits your skin.

2) Do not rub your face with a towel. Instead, pat dry your face gently with a clean towel.

3) Do not scratch and break pimples as it will cause dark spots and scars that are difficult to treat.

4) Drink more water and eat fruits. Avoid junk food.

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